- Sanskrit (Original): test
- Etymology: test
- Fun Fact about the pose: test
- Asana Type: Backbend, Restorative
- Main length muscle groups: ["back leg","arm"]
- Main strength muscle groups: ["back leg","both legs"]
- Vinyasa Breath: Exhale
How to Cue the Pose: Step By Step
- 1 As is common for all forward folds, Uttansana has a very deep calming and cooling effect, not only for the body, but also for the mind. This makes it a great pose when struggling with mental turmoil or when feeling overheated.
- 2 Uttanasana soothes the brain cells and calms down the heart rate, as the whole trunk is basically upside down.
Working The Details: Alignment In The Pose
- Centering the weight towards gravity: Experiment with slowly shifting the weight in your feet to the front and the back. After a few rounds try to find the center of gravity, so that the weight in the feet is distributed evenly. This will break up habitual patterns and activate new muscle groups to engage in the posture.
- Lengthen the backline of the body: Tilt your pelvis anteriorly (meaning tilt it forward) to create a little ‘ducktail’ shape in your lumbar spine. Let the back of the heels sink more towards the ground. Gently draw your sit bones more upwards, as if you were drawing a circle with your sit bones. This will not only help you to extend and lengthen the hamstrings, but also aid the lumbar spine with extending before letting it go into flexion.
Adapting The Pose Through Modifications
- If you feel that your back is really rounded and/or that you are pulling your torso down from your frontal hip joint, you can experiment with bending your knees more. Start with creating the pose in a way that your stomach really connects to your thighs. From here gently see how far you can straighten the legs without losing the length in the spine.
- Give your sit bones some extra height and your hamstrings some extra length by propping up your heels. To do this, simply roll up your mat or a blanket and place it under your heels. You could even use blocks to do this. Try this version also if you feel that you have most of your weight in your heels, as this will educate you to bring more weight into the front part of your feet.
Benefits of Purvottanasana
- As is common for all forward folds, Uttansana has a very deep calming and cooling effect, not only for the body, but also for the mind. This makes it a great pose when struggling with mental turmoil or when feeling overheated.
- Uttanasana soothes the brain cells and calms down the heart rate, as the whole trunk is basically upside down.
- The pose is also said to refresh the body and the mind and relieve anxiety, headaches, insomnia and fatigue.
- By massaging the abdominal organs, Uttanasana can help to improve digestion.
- It keeps the spine and the nerves of the spine long and flexible.
- Uttanasana provides a deep stretch for the hips and the legs, especially the hamstrings and the calves. This is great for people with a shortened backline of the body.
Pose VariationsSee all Poses
Pose variations can be anything that makes the original pose easier or more simple but also anything making it more challenging or adding complexity.
Preparatory PoseSee all Poses
Preparatory poses are poses that have a similar shape to the pose you want to prepare for but maybe in a different alignment towards gravity and/or poses that target specific body areas to warm up, stretch or strengthen in order to lead to the final pose. Include preparatory poses when you build yoga sequences.
Counter PoseSee all Poses
Counter poses serve to balance the body back into neutral after a pose or a set of same poses. E.g. symmetrical poses balancing asymmetrical poses, forward folds or twists balancing backbends, balancing challenging poses with restorative poses. Use counter poses to build sequences that feel amazing – you can use our free Sequence Builder tool to get started.
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FAQ: Common questions about this pose